It Pays to get Fit at Work
Companies are spending an estimated 25-30% per year in health care costs as a result of risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity. Worksite fitness and health education programs are a proven solution.
Benefits of a Corporate Wellness Program:
- Decreased absenteeism rates (which translate into an estimated savings of $2.73 per every dollar spent on providing a worksite wellness program)
- Increased worker productivity
- Lower employee turnover
- Reduced health care costs (an estimated savings of $3.27 per every dollar spent on providing a worksite wellness program)
- The "ripple effect" - health benefits extend beyond the workplace as families of enrolled employees tend to adopt healthier lifestyle choices as a result of the employee's experiences from the corporate wellness program
- Designate a walking route: Distance markers can be placed in the halls of the office building or around the outside perimeter of the complex.
- Form walking groups: Employees can sign up to join an office walking club. Multiple groups can be formed and friendly competitions and challenges can be initiated to increase motivation.
- Offer employees incentives for enrolling in the program and/or achieving health and fitness goals. Ideally, incentives should promote health - such as a free yoga class if the employee stops smoking.
- Send out weekly emails and/or newsletters promoting healthy lifestyle habits and offering practical tips and heart-healthy recipes.
- Offer free blood pressure screenings and fitness assessment tests.
- Provide a monthly inservice devoted to increasing the awareness of risk factors associated with chronic diseases
Note: Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.
American Heart Association
AHA Policy Statement, October 27, 2009, "Worksite Wellness Programs for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention," Carnethon, M. et al,.